A world-class institute of changemakers in the deaf and signing community.
Since 1864, we have been investing in and creating resources for deaf and hard of hearing children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.
Over 50 degree programs, with online and continuing education for personal and professional development.
Innovating solutions to break down barriers, and using science to prove what does and doesn’t work.
We make it easy for you to apply and enter here.
Ready to take the next step toward a college education?
Make lasting memories and grow in ways you never thought possible.
"If speech is better for hearing people than barbaric signs, it is better for the deaf: being the fittest it has survived"
-Emma Garrett, Oral Educator, Home for Training in Speech of Deaf Children Before They Are of School Age, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oral educators warned that deaf people had become "Foreigners among their own countrymen." They charged that the use of sign language encouraged deaf people to form a community apart, with its own organizations, newspapers, cultural practices and beliefs. Oralists hoped that a purely oral education would lead to greater assimilation, better mastery of spoken English, and increased work opportunities.
Sign Language was described as part of an evolutionary framework and debated at meetings of superintendents and school principals. It was an on-going topic of discussion at meetings such as this 1901 convention of the American Instructors of the Deaf, held at St. Mary's Institution for the Deaf in Buffalo, New York.
The language of deaf people was described by some educators as "characteristic of tribes low in the scale of development." Oralists classed sign languages as inferior modes of communication.
Gallaudet University Archives
← PreviousThe Struggle between Natural and Normal
Next →The Influence of Alexander Graham Bell
Formation of a Community
Language and Identity
Awareness, Access, and Change
Gallaudet University is a federally chartered private and premier university for the deaf and hard of hearing since 1864.
Copyright © 2021 Gallaudet University. All rights reserved.
800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, D.C. 20002
Spring 2021 – Dec 12Fall 2021 – May 15